ARIA Residential’s new estate agency opens in Templepatrick on Monday, April 25. It’s a real statement of faith by the company. It’s also a very public demonstration of Aria’s confidence that rather than being a false dawn, the Northern Ireland housing market’s growth really is going to continue. Up until now, Aria have had one office in Belfast, on the city’s Lisburn Road. And following eight years of experience gained there in the aftermath of the most damaging recession ever to have hit housing in Northern Ireland, they have been through sufficient trials, tests and tribulations to know their stuff inside out. Rather than war weary, call them battle-hardened…
That being the case, their willingness to expand at this stage by opening a new out-of-town branch is a clear display of their confidence that, finally, the worst is indeed over and things really are on the move. That’s no fingers-crossed, hope-for-the-best leap in the dark. Their optimism is based on lengthy research coupled with irrefutable evidence that things have improved sufficiently to justify considerable investment in this new venture. Certainly in the city they have seen a morale-boosting surge, primarily in BT9, BT4 and BT5. South and east Belfast are the areas where homes are most in demand. But, crucially, there are highly encouraging signs outside the city, too, and the decision to open a new branch at the Twelfth Milestone Shops in Templepatrick is confirmation of their belief that towns and villages in the commute-to-the-capital-for-work belt are on the up and up, too.
“Ready, excited and raring to go,” is Aria Associate Director Larry McAllister’s mood in readiness for lift-off. A graduate from Queen’s University Belfast, he has over a decade of experience working in the Northern Ireland property sector. This includes having worked in all aspects of residential property, dealing primarily with re-sales and rentals. And that all-round know-how dovetails perfectly with Aria’s commitment to both sectors of the market – ownership and rental.
Proof of Larry’s belief in this new undertaking can be seen in the fact that he and his wife and their three children have just set up home in Templepatrick, underlining his conviction that it is a very quick and easy run into Belfast.
“No big commute and the best of both worlds,” is how he puts it. The new Templepatrick office will be staffed by personnel boasting high standards of education, experience and product knowledge in tandem with their commitment to serving the public.
Connor Allison graduated from Queens University in 2006 with an Honours degree in History and Politics. Having completed a graduate scheme in 2007, he entered the world of property. Connor worked with one of Northern Ireland’s largest estate agencies, serving throughout Belfast and beyond, before joining Aria Residential in April 2012. He is now involved in all aspects of the estate agency, although residential sales are his speciality. Away from work, Connor spends as much time as he can with his young son, as well as turning out for Annadale Hockey Club.
Sarah Kennedy worked in a variety of sales roles, both in Northern Ireland and abroad, prior to joining Aria as a trainee negotiator in 2013. Such was her progress that she quickly rose to the position sales and lettings negotiator. She recently completed her Sale of Residential Property qualification and, in the near future, will be taking up membership of the National Association of Estate Agents. In addition to her skills as a negotiator and the fact that she relishes the challenge that role involves, Sarah is a first-class ‘people person’. Thus she loves meeting new clients and working with them to ensure that they secure the property that best suits their needs. Her interests outside work include travel and socialising with her friends. And to offset that, she is a frequent visitor to the gym!
Thomas Boyd is another graduate, having achieved a BSc in Geography and Environmental Management from Northumbria University. Whilst studying, for several years he also worked in the hospitality sector as a bar supervisor to offset the cost of his third-level education. He joined Aria in April 2016. A keen all-round sportsman, Thomas is a member of Ballynahinch Rugby Club and Downpatrick Cricket Club.
Natalie Murray worked in retail management until 2010, at which point she moved to Dubai to pursue a new career in the finance sector. When she returned home, she worked for the Northern Ireland Civil Service’s finance department. Natalie joined Aria Residential in 2015 as a general administrative officer dealing with all enquiries and general maintenance of properties. She has now been promoted to work within Aria’s accounts department. As her background might suggest, she enjoys travelling and learning about different cultures. Closer to home her spare time is spent socialising with friends and family.
Frances Clawson, a former student of Belfast’s Dominican College Fortwilliam, joined the Aria team in April 2016. Her interest in housing began at an early age and after completing her A’ Levels she studied Housing Management at Ulster University. That course included a year-long placement in Liverpool where she worked for a housing association. As a result she gained considerable experience in assisting potential tenants with the housing application process and then helping them maintain their tenancies. She graduated in 2015 with a 2:1. Frances enjoys spending her free time with family and friends.
If you have a house for sale, or if you want to buy a house, let a house or rent a house, call on Aria Residential. They will be delighted to hear from - and serve - you.